Engineering vital for a diversified economy

Jack Hunter of Swagelok and Luke McKinley of RLC Ronaldsway  pictured receiving their award  from Isle of Man Bank managing director Bill Shimmins

Jack Hunter of Swagelok and Luke McKinley of RLC Ronaldsway pictured receiving their award from Isle of Man Bank managing director Bill Shimmins

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The award of Apprentice of the Year 2014 has been shared after judges could not separate the two top entries.

Jack Hunter, of Swagelok, and Luke McKinley, of RLC Ronaldsway, were named as the joint winners.

Sponsored by Isle of Man Bank and the Engineering Skills Group, the award draws entrants from the Isle of Man College Engineering Apprenticeship Course, run in conjunction with the Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster member companies.

Companies select apprentices to present an overview of their final year project to a panel of judges.

The project topics are the choice of the apprentice and vary in scope based on the interests of the apprentice, the needs of their employer and the study subjects.

It creates an interesting breadth of projects from design and make to development and research. This year the judging panel comprised Isle of Man Bank managing director Bill Shimmins, RLC Ronaldsway’s general manager Dave Waters, Dave Hester, general manager at Swagelok, and Chris Allen, general manager at newly named Triumph Group Inc, previously GE Aviation.

Mr Waters is also chairman of the Engineering Sector Skills Group. He said: ‘This year the entries were very strong and the subject matters very broad, which made the judging particularly difficult.

‘All of the apprentices should be very proud of their achievements, they all represented themselves very well and in the end the judges scored them all very closely.

‘In fact for the first year we could not separate two projects and decided to award a joint first prize.’

Mr Shimmins said: ‘Isle of Man Bank is delighted to continue to offer its support to the engineering and manufacturing sector. The scheme recognises young people who are gaining vital skills in engineering. This helps to support a diversified Manx economy and we are very pleased to be part of that. The programme is one of many initiatives through which the Isle of Man Bank seeks to champion the development of young people within the island.’

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